After the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem left Rhodes in 1522, the island of Malta became Christian Europe's next line of defence against the Ottoman Turks. Forty years later, with the conclusion of the Great Siege of Malta in 1565, the situation in the Island (but also in Catholic Europe) was very serious. After such a moment of deep crisis, it was necessary to decide a new strategic policy of defense against the external ‘enemies’. Grand Master Jean de La Valette decided to build the new capital – Valletta – after the great disaster. He realized the Knights needed a new city with strong defences in case the Turks have returned. The Knights of Malta continually refortified Valletta until its surrender to the French in 1798. The aim of this paper is to show how during Modern Age a tragic event, as the Great Siege of 1565, brought an unexpected richness to the Knights and to the Maltese people. The building of the new capital required a strong number of local and foreign handiworks. The improvements and the development of the harbour infrastructures rendered this port-city a cosmopolitan reality. In fact in a few decades the fame of this new fascinating city attracted a lot of foreign travellers who contributed to the cultural exchanges among the Euro- Mediterranean societies.

A “new” Capital for the safety of European Christendom: the building of Valletta

2010

Abstract

After the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem left Rhodes in 1522, the island of Malta became Christian Europe's next line of defence against the Ottoman Turks. Forty years later, with the conclusion of the Great Siege of Malta in 1565, the situation in the Island (but also in Catholic Europe) was very serious. After such a moment of deep crisis, it was necessary to decide a new strategic policy of defense against the external ‘enemies’. Grand Master Jean de La Valette decided to build the new capital – Valletta – after the great disaster. He realized the Knights needed a new city with strong defences in case the Turks have returned. The Knights of Malta continually refortified Valletta until its surrender to the French in 1798. The aim of this paper is to show how during Modern Age a tragic event, as the Great Siege of 1565, brought an unexpected richness to the Knights and to the Maltese people. The building of the new capital required a strong number of local and foreign handiworks. The improvements and the development of the harbour infrastructures rendered this port-city a cosmopolitan reality. In fact in a few decades the fame of this new fascinating city attracted a lot of foreign travellers who contributed to the cultural exchanges among the Euro- Mediterranean societies.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11570/1907918
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